You’ve seen it on the news. You’ve heard your co workers moan. Driving in the snow is a skill no one appears to know. Cars just dumped where they finish skidding to, people pushing cars with wheels just skidding over the ice. There is no reason for it, everyone should now how to drive in snow, so here are my tips for safe driving in snow.
Driving safely on icy roads
- Decrease your speed and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
- Set off in second gear, Forget about 1st gear.
- Brake gently to avoid skidding. If your wheels start to lock up, ease off the brake.Try and use engine braking where possible.
- Turn on your lights to increase your visibility to other motorists.
- Keep your lights and windshield clean. ALL YOUR WINDSHIELD. NO SNOW AT ALL.
- Use low gears to keep traction, especially on hills. but watch out for too much power being sent tp the wheels.
- Don’t use cruise control or overdrive on icy roads.
- Be especially careful on bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads, which will freeze first. Even at temperatures above freezing, if the conditions are wet, you might encounter ice in shady areas or on exposed roadways like bridges.
- Make slow, deliberate moves. Steer gently
- Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions. Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.
- Watch out for idiots who are driving like nutters and especially those who have not cleared their windscreen
If your rear wheels skid…
- Take your foot off the accelerator.
- Steer in the direction you want the front wheels to go. If your rear wheels are sliding left, steer left. If they’re sliding right, steer right.
- If your rear wheels start sliding the other way as you recover, ease the steering wheel toward that side. You might have to steer left and right a few times to get your vehicle completely under control.
- If you have standard brakes, pump them gently.
- If you have anti-lock brakes (ABS), do not pump the brakes. Apply steady pressure to the brakes. You will feel the brakes pulse — this is normal, if somewhat unnerving
If your front wheels skid…
- Take your foot off the gas and shift to neutral, but don’t try to steer immediately.
- As the wheels skid sideways, they will slow the vehicle and traction will return. As it does, steer in the direction you want to go, release the clutch, and accelerate gently.
If you get stuck…
- Do not spin your wheels. This will only dig you in deeper.
- Turn your wheels from side to side a few times to push snow out of the way.
- Use a light touch on the gas, to ease your car out.
- Use a shovel to clear snow away from the wheels and the underside of the car.
- Pour sand, kitty litter, gravel or salt in the path of the wheels, to help get traction.
- Try rocking the vehicle. Shift from forward to reverse, and back again. Each time you’re in gear, give a light touch on the gas until the vehicle gets going.